Fidelis Munyoro Senior Writer
President Mnangagwa will today swear-in his newly appointed Cabinet of 20 members, 13 deputy ministers and nine provincial ministers, to come up with policies that can steer the nation out of its prolonged doldrums.
The swearing-in ceremony takes place at 7am at State House.
In the new Cabinet line-up, President Mnangagwa dropped several big names from previous administrations, while blending new talent with experience.
President Mnangagwa’s “Dream Team” is expected to address a host of challenges, from persistent fiscal and balance of payments deficits to infrastructural and social decay accruing from the previous administration.
Analysts believe the new Cabinet has the right calibre of men and women to turn around the fortunes of the country. President Mnangagwa has made economic recovery his priority task and on Friday he appointed renowned economist Dr Mthuli Ncube Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
Ethical Leaf Tobacco chief executive Mr David Machingaidze said the new Cabinet comprised a refreshing blend of proven champions and new faces who were leaders in their respective disciplines.
He said the team brought the confidence Zimbabwe requires to chart a positive socio-economic and political trajectory.
Mr Machingaidze said for the new team to tackle the challenges facing the economy, there was need for a candid, pragmatic and unbiased assessment of the economic situation, as well as the root causes of poor production, low investor confidence and macro-economic failure.
“This root cause analysis will enable the formulation of effective solutions that will drive sustainable socio-economic transformation,” said Mr Machingaidze, a Massachussets Institute of Technology-trained business executive.
“This transformation will invariably come with a lot of pain in the short term and will require resilience and total political commitment for effective solutions to be formulated and implemented, irrespective (of their popularity or otherwise).
“An effective culture change is also premised on removing the key symbols of the previous regime and embracing innovative thought from broad-based stakeholder consultations.”
Mr Machingaidze called on the new Cabinet team to be bold to do away with ineffective policy prescriptions.
Zimbabwe, he said, stood to learn a lot from a myriad examples of rapid economic development from Asian Tiger economies.
“It is, therefore, key for us to deepen global economic, academic and technical alliances from which the nation can craft relevant home-grown solutions,” said Mr Machingaidze.
“The new administration should come in and drive policy, not as economic players, with their fundamental mandate being to gain an understanding of the needs of entrepreneurship and the capital that comes with it.
“Policy clarity and consistent application remain paramount in the creation of an enabling environment for both domestic and external investment.”
Mr Machingaidze said the spectre of corruption continued to loom large as the proverbial elephant in the room, hence the need for a total culture change in doing business in both the public and private sectors.
“This calls for a rigorous enforcement of a zero tolerance policy by top policy-makers. The business community should also play its part in ensuring that the new Cabinet team is driven by national and not personal agendas in the discharge of their onerous duties.”
Former president of Law Society of Zimbabwe Mr Lloyd Mhishi was by and large impressed with the appointment of known winners to form a winning team, citing examples of Professor Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Winston Chitando (Mines and Mining Development), July Moyo (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing), Perrance Shiri (Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement), Sibusiso B. Moyo (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Kirsty Coventry (Youth, Sport, Arts and Culture).
“I only hope these ministers will also be listening functionaries as espoused by the President,” he said. “For them to know where the people ought to go (a hallmark of great leaders) they must first be clear on where they want to go.”
Mr Mhishi said Minister Shiri as the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement had shown over the past nine months that he was a focused and hands-on person.
“My only wish is that he moves further to institute a land tenure framework that enhances productivity and the contribution of land towards achieving HE’s vision of a middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.
“Such land tenure, which does not reverse the gains of land reform, entails making agricultural land live capital by re-establishing a land market in our economy.
“This is achieved by granting conditional freehold title through gradual titling of land occupied by new farmers.”
Mr Mhishi said the lesser alternative was to deal with the glaring shortcomings of the proposed 99-year leases to make them tradable on the market and readily accepted as collateral for lending.
“Unless the leases afford lenders the ability to foreclose in the event of default, the rhetoric by financial institutions that they are unacceptable will remain, to the detriment of the economy,” he said.
Meikles Group company secretary Mr Tabani Mpofu said: “The composition of the Cabinet is a clear and unambiguous signal of intent by President Mnangagwa to transform the economy. The Cabinet is a demonstration of political will to set the country on the path of economic recovery and all right thinking Zimbabweans, regardless of their political affiliation, will undoubtedly recognise it as such.”
Legal and political analyst Mr Tendai Toto said the new Cabinet was a good blend of both the competent and seasoned would-be public servants.
“I believe the appointing authority conducted due diligence on the competencies and capabilities of the appointed,” he said.
“The appointed bear the responsibility to ensure that the hopes and aspirations of the nation are realised within a reasonable amount of time.”
Mr Toto said it was the general expectation of citizens and stakeholders that the new Cabinet would focus on efficient service delivery and economic recovery.
“As the nation watches, hopes and expects, the clear message is that there is no time to snooze and slumber,” he said.